Slammed today, so Clipperblog can offer only a few observations from the shellacking in Denver last night:
- Any team that shoots 51.9% at home against the Clippers is going to win, particularly if said team wins Points in the Paint, 60-39 and Fast Break Points, 23-8.
- Elton Brand is passing up face-up jumpers.
Worse, Shaun Livingston - who we thought would be more apt to find Elton in the halfcourt - isn't finding him. At 2:29 in the first, EB sets a high screen for Livingston [on Boykins], and the Nuggets, for whatever reason, double the ball, leaving EB alone at the top of the circle with only 'Melo at the foul line, in no way ready to guard Elton one-one-one. Instead, Shaun puts up a horrendous shot over Camby, an absolute brick.
But it's not all bad distribution by our PGs and double-teams. After a game in Minnesota in which Elton appeared confident and ready to force the issue, he shrunk last night, passing up shots he would've launched last year. I know that Camby has traditionally given him trouble, but consider the fact that EB attempted only one free throw last night. What does that tell you?
- Defensively, it seemed like Denver had advantageous mismatches all night. Boykins would drive by TT; Camby would shoot over Mobley, and etcetera.
- Shaun had two nice drives/scores toward the end of the first half, but was otherwise awful: Sloppy passes, ill-advised shots, and an inability to read Denver's rotation. It seems as if he's losing confidence with each game.
- If we're looking for a silver lining, James Singleton got some minutes and maximized them. He rebounded well - 7 boards in 33 minutes [...33 minutes!!] - and didn't take more than one ill-advised shot, going 4-9 from the field, including one from beyond and that nice steal-breakaway-dunk. Singleton provided a lot of help on the other end when he was assigned to Evans; but once he was put on 'Melo, James was in over his head. At 7:49 in the third, he leaves 'Melo open from about 12 feet to double Najera.
But all in all, a good effort from James.
- When the Clips needed Corey to manufacture points at the end of the first half, he worked himself to the line twice in the final 3:03. It also helps to be an 80+ FT shooter. On the downside, Corey turned the ball over five times.
- After Q committed his third foul early in the third quarter, Dunleavy pretty much went with the offensive lineup, and I can't really complain about that. There are going to be nights when the Clips fall behind big and early when Corey and Thomas are going to see more minutes than Q. For what it's worth, I thought Q got jobbed on that foul on the floor against 'Melo at 4:37: Incidental contact and, if anything, 'Melo pushed off. The second one, thirty seconds later, was legitimate.
Consider, though, than when Ross left the game with about four minutes left in the first, Carmelo Anthony was 1-5 from the field and 1-2 from the line.
The Clippers are 0-5 on the road and, the Dallas game notwithstanding, haven't turned in a crisp performance all season. They'll play a fairly well-rested Sacramento team that has owned them in the past tomorrow night.